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Publication numberUS3843118 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 22, 1974
Filing dateJul 28, 1971
Priority dateJul 28, 1971
Publication numberUS 3843118 A, US 3843118A, US-A-3843118, US3843118 A, US3843118A
InventorsR Annas, V Hinsberger
Original AssigneeParamount Health Equip Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Isotonic exercising apparatus having selective friction restraint
US 3843118 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Annas et a1.

[451 Oct. 22, 1974 ISOTONIC EXERCISING APPARATUS HAVING SELECTIVE FRICTION RESTRAINT Inventors: Robert F. Annas, Arcadia; Vincent Hinsberger, Los Angeles, both of Calif.

Paramount Health Equipment Corp., Los Angeles, Calif.

Filed: July 28, 1971 Appl. No.1 166,670


U.S. Cl. 272/58, 272/79 D Int. Cl A63b 21/00 Field of Search 272/57 R, 58, 73, 79 R,

272/D1G. 3, DIG. 4, 57 A, 79 D References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1925 Anderson 272/79 R 8/1941 1/1943 1/1957 1/1960 3,103,357 9/1963 7 3,227,447 1/1966 3,528,653 9/1970 Stuckenschneider 272/79 R 3,601,395 8/1971 Morgan 272/D1G. 3 3,647,210 3/1972 Ratcliffe 272/D1G. 3

Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Harry G. Strappello Attorney, Agent, or FirmF lam & Flam (5 7 ABSTRACT An isotonic exercising apparatus in which a user moves part of his body against a yieldable resistance mechanized by a disc brake exhibiting more or less friction under control of a user adjusted mechanical leverage system. The disc brake is attached to the end of a shaft provided with a handle bar or the like, and includes a brake lining which frictionally engages a plate mounted to the exerciser frame. The friction controlling leverage system comprises a lever arm transmitting axially to the shaft a force applied at the arm end by a screw cooperating with a dial wheel or handle.

11 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENIEllnmzz mm 3.843. .1 1

smear a JANE/V702 ISOTONIC EXERCISING APPARATUS HAVING SELECTIVE FRICTION RESTRAINT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to exercising machines and particularly to isotonic exercisers wherein the user moves levers back and forth against a yielding frictional load.

2. Description of the Prior Art Exercising machines are of three general types: isotonic, isometric and isometronic. An isotonic machine is one in which the user moves some part of his body against yieldable resistances. In an isometric machine, the user stresses his body against unyieldable objects. An isometronic machine is one in which parts of the body are moved by some powered mechanism.

Isotonic exercising machines typically employ weights moved upwardly by a system of levers, cables, pulleys or other mechanical devices. The user exerts effort on the first half of the cycle to move the weights upwardly, and exerts restraining force on the second half of the cycle in order to allow the weights slowly to return to the starting position. Not all isotonic exercising devices can be mechanized in this manner. For example, an exercising bicycle must be permitted endless movement in one direction; hence some friction device must be provided instead of weights. Some exercising machines utilize opposed movement of the arms or legs in which the left limb moves a mechanism in one direction and the right limb moves the mechanism back in the other direction.

To allow a significant degree of versatility, the friction device must be adjustable. Thus the user may be expected in time to progress in ability to overcome a greater frictional restraint; and users of different size or strength may require different settings.

Known adjustable friction devices are generally of two types: first, the complicated types such as shown in US. Pat. No. 1,650,417 to Benniger in which a wide range of sensitive adjustment is made possible by virtue of a complicated structural arrangement, and second, a simple type such as shown in US. Pat. No. 2,543,729 to Magida in which a few selected friction positions are possible. Use of a friction control assembly having only a few discretely selectable positions typically results either in the friction device being too loose or in the device locking up.

Accordingly there has been a long felt need for a simple device that provides sensitive friction adjustment for an isotonic exercising machine. The object of this invention is to provide such a device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION To achieve the foregoing object, there is provided an isotonic exercising apparatus including a leverage system having high mechanical advantage. The long end of a lever arm is moved by a screw and dial wheel assembly. The short end of the lever arm urges a brake disc into frictional contact with a cooperating plate with more or less pressure in accordance with the setting of the dial wheel. The brake disc is connected to a shaft having a suitable handle or like appurtenance moved by the user.


BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A detailed description of the invention will be made with reference to the accompanying drawings which, unless otherwise indicated, are to scale.

FIG. 1 is a top plan of an isotonic exercising apparatus incorporating the inventive friction mechanism for providingadjustable, yieldable resistance to. motion of the user.

FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of the device shown in FIG. 1, the body supporting table being shown in phantom.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged view, partly in section, of the brake disc and friction adjusting mechanism of FIG. 2, as viewed generally along the line 33 thereof.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of the brake disc and associated mechanism, as viewed generally along the line 44 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a pictorial view of another isotonic exercising apparatus of the friction type, also in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 5, as viewed generally along the line 6-6 thereof.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the brake disc and friction adjusting mechanism of FIG. 6, as viewed generally along the line 77 thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The following detailed description is of the best presently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Structural and operational characteristics attributed to forms of the invention first described shall also be attributed to forms later described, unless such characteristics are obviously inapplicable or unless specific exception is made.

Referring now to the drawings,and particularlyto FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, there is shown an isotonic exercising apparatus 10 in accordance with the present invention. The exerciser 10 includes a frame 11 supporting a padded table 12 on which the user may recline. A generally U-shaped bar 13 is supported above the table 12 in position to be engaged by the hands, legs or other body parts of the user.

The bar 13 is connected by a rigid support bracket 14 to a vertical shaft 15 (FIGS. 2 and 3) mounted to permit rotation about the longitudinal axis thereof. The lower end 15a of the shaft 15 is connected to a friction restraint mechanism 16 which provides a yieldable resistance to rotation of the shaft 15 and the handle 13. A dial wheel 17 facilitates user adjustment of the amount of resistance provided by the mechanism 16. This permits the user to establish how much bodily force is required to move the bar 13 to overcome the friction restraint provided by the mechanism 16. The upper end 15b of the shaft 15 seats within a recess in an upper frame member 11a.

The friction mechanism 16 (FIGS. 2, 3 and 4) is supported by a horizontal plate 18 mounted to the frame 11. The shaft 15 extends through a bearing 21 mounted in the plate 18. The shaft end a is welded or otherwise fixedly attached to a brake disc 22 disposed beneath and parallel to lower face 18a of the plate 18. A brake or friction lining 23, which may comprise a felt pad, is attached to the uppper surface 22a of the brake disc 22. The brake disc 22 and lining 23 cooperate with the plate surface 18a to provide a frictional restraint to rotation of the shaft 15.

A leverage system 24 of high mechanical advantage maintains the brake disc 22 in operative engagement with the plate 18, and facilitates adjustment of the amount of friction provided thereby. To this end, the system 24 includes a lever arm 25, one end 25a of which is attached to a bolt 26 extending downwardly from the plate 18. The bolt 26 thus functions as the fulcrum for the lever 25. A hole 27 through the lever arm 25 forms a seat for a steel ball 28, the upper edge of which is in contactwith the lower shaft end 15a. The ball 28 functions to transmit force from the lever arm 25 axially to the shaft 15. A central recess 22b in the brake disc 22 prevents the ball 28 from rolling free of the mechanism 16.

Force is applied to the free end 25b of the lever arm 25 by means of a screw adjustment assembly including a threaded rod 31. The flanged lower end 31a of the rod 31 engages the lower surface of the lever end 25b, and extends vertically upward through a clearance hole 32 in the arm 25 and a clearance hole 33 in the plate 18. The upper end 31b of the rod 31 is unthreaded, and seats within a recess 34 provided within an upper frame member 11bv The recess 34 is of sufficient length as to permit limited vertical motion of the rod 31. The dial wheel 17 (FIGS. 2 and 3) includes an internally threaded opening 17a which receives the threaded rod 31. A rigid sleeve 35 surrounds the rod 31 to maintain the dial wheel 17 at a fixed distance from the plate 18.

As the dial wheel 17 is turned in one direction, the resultant screw action causes upward motion of the rod 31, thereby applying an upward force to the lever arm end 25b. This force is transmitted with a mechanical advantage to the shaft 15 via the lever arm 25 and the ball 28. Since the shaft 15 is fixedly attached to the brake disc 22, the force also presses the disc 22 and the friction lining 23 into tighter engagement with the plate surface 18a, so as to increase the friction resisting rotation of the shaft 15. When the dial wheel 17 is turned in the opposite direction, the rod 31 may move downward, decreasing the force exerted on the brake disc 22.

The combined mechanical advantage afforded by the screw adjustment assembly including the dial wheel 17 and the rod 31, in cooperation with the lever arm 25 permits smooth, fine control over the amount of friction produced by the restraint mechanism 16. Thus while only a very small variation in force exerted on the brake disc 22 will vary the mechanism 16 between minimum and maximum resistance-conditions, substantial angular rotation of the dial wheel 17 is utilized to achieve this change.

In the exerciser 10 (FIGS. 1 and 2) the plate 18 is horizontally mounted across the spaced parallel bars llcand 11d extending between the feet lle, 11f of the frame 11. Four legs, each designated 11g, extend upwardly from the bars 11c, 11d to support the upper 6 frame members 11a, 11b, 11h, 111' and llj which hold the table 12.

A second embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 5, '6 and 7. Therein, an isotonic exerciser 40 includes a handle or leg bar 13 attached to a shaft 15 disposed for rotation about a horizontal axis against a yieldable resistance provided by a friction restraint mechanism 16'. The bar 13', shaft 15', mechanism 16' and other prime numbered elements of the exerciser 40 correspond to the like numbered but unprimed elements of the exerciser 10 shown in FIGS. 1 to 4.

In the exerciser 40, the plate 18' supporting the friction restraint mechanism 16' is mounted vertically atop a pair of legs 41, 42 extending upwardly from one of the exerciser feet 43, 44. A back cover plate 45 is attached to the legs 41, 42 by means of spacers 46, 47 to form a housing for the mechanism 16'. A lid 48 covers the housing.

' The friction restraint mechanism 16' (FIGS. 6 and 7) is identical to the mechanism 16 described above, except that a different screw adjustment assembly is used to apply force to the end 25b of the lever arm 25'. in the exerciser 40, a handle member 51 includes a threaded rod section 51a extending through a clearance hole 52 in the lever end 25b and engaging an internally threaded bushing 53 welded to the surface 18a of the plate 18'. The member 51 also includes a shank portion 51b coaxial with, but of greater diameter than, the threaded section 51a. The end of the shank 51b thus forms a shoulder 51c pressing against the lever arm 25. The shank 51b extends rearwardly through a clearance opening 54 in the rear cover plate 45, and terminates at a handle 55.

With this arrangement, rotation of the handle 55 in one direction causes the threaded section 510 to screw further into the bushing 53, so that the shoulder 51c applies greater pressure against the lever arm end 25b. As discussed above the mechanical advantage of the lever 25 transmits this force via the ball 28 to the brake disc 22' attached to the end 15a of the shaft 15'. This in turn increases the friction between the brake lining 23' and the plate surface 18a thereby providing increased frictional restraint impeding rotation of the shaft 15 and movement of the bar 13. Turning the handle 55 in the other direction decreases the force applied to the lever 25 and hence reduces the resistance to rotation of the shaft 15.

Thus there is provided an isotonic exerciser of simple design which permits sensitive adjustment of the yieldable resistance to be overcome by the user.

Intending to claim all novel, useful and unobvious features shown or described, the applicants claim:

1. In an isotonic exercising apparatus wherein a user moves part of his body against a yieldable resistance;

a. a frame having a plate attached thereto,

b. a shaft journaled to said frame for rotation only about said shaft axis and for limited axial translation with respect to said frame, said shaft having attached thereto an appurtenance adapted to be engaged by said body part,

c. a planar brake shoe attached to said shaft and having a friction surface cooperating with said plate to provide said yieldable resistance to rotation of said shaft by said user, and

d. a lever pivoted on the frame on an axis located laterally of said shaft, said lever extending transverse to said shaft and having a part engageable with the shaft for exerting an axial force on the shaft;

e. adjustable screw means operative between the frame and said lever and located laterally of said shaft to control the magnitude of the axial force exerted by said lever and, thereby, to control the contact pressure between said brake shoe and said plate and the magnitude of said yieldable resistance.

2. An exercising apparatus according to claim 1 in which said screw means is located so as to apply a force at a mechanical advantage from said lever axially to the end of said shaft, whereby rotation of said screw means results in smoothly controllable adjustment of said amount of friction and hence of said yieldable resistance.

3. An exercising apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said brake shoe comprises a brake disc perpendicularly attached to said shaft, and a friction lining disposed on a face of said disc to form said friction surface.

4. An exercising apparatus according to claim 3 wherein said lever comprises a lever arm and a fulcrum member attaching one end of said lever arm to said plate, said lever arm extending generally transversely of said shaft opposite one end thereof, and wherein said force transmitting means comprises a rigid ball situated between said lever arm and said shaft one end, the distance from said ball to said fulcrum member being less than the distance from said fulcrum to the point at which force is applied by said screw means.

5. An exercising apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said element comprises a dial wheel, and wherein said screw means comprises a threaded rod extending from said lever near one end thereof, said dial wheel threadingly engaging said rod, and spacer means for maintaining said dial wheel a fixed distance from said plate, whereby rotation of said dial wheel causes application to said lever, via said rod, of a force transverse to said plate.-

6. An exercising apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said screw means comprises a threaded member fixedly mounted to said frame and wherein said element comprises a shaft threadingly engaging said member and having a shoulder pressing against said lever, whereby rotation of said element moves said shoulder in a direction transverse of said plate to apply a like directed force to said lever.

7. An isotonic exercising apparatus comprising:

a frame,

a plate mounted on said frame,

a shaft extending perpendicularly through an opening in said plate,

body engagable means attached to said shaft on one side of said plate,

a brake shoe attachedto said shaft on the other side of said plate and having a friction lining engaging the surface of said plate,

adjustable mechanical linkage means for controlling the friction between said brake shoe and said plate, thereby facilitating adjustment of the force resisting rotation of said shaft and body engagable means, said linkage means comprising:

a lever arm extending generally transversely of said shaft adjacent said one end thereof,

a fulcrum member attaching one end of said lever arm to said plate,

ball means intermediate said lever arm for transmitting force from said lever arm axially to said shaft one end, and

mechanical screw means attached to said plate and cooperating with the other end of said lever arm for applying an adjustable amount of force to said lever arm other end.

8. An exercising apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said mechanical screw means comprises a threaded rod extendingtransversely from said lever arm other end through another opening in said plate, adjustment handle means having a threaded opening receiving said rod, and means for maintaining said handle means a fixed distance from said plate, rotation of said handle means causing said rod to move transversely of said plate and apply a force in a like direction to said lever arm.

9. An exercising apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said mechanical screw means comprises an internally threaded member affixed to said plate, a threaded rod engaging said member and extending transversely from said plate on said other side thereof, said rod including a shoulder cooperatively engaging said lever arm other end, whereby rotation of said rod applies a force to said lever arm transverse of said affixed to said frame.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4637604 *Aug 27, 1984Jan 20, 1987Burt Dupont Blanche APhysical therapy device
US7070546Jul 5, 2002Jul 4, 2006Joseph GrassoExercise apparatus including multiple function aspects and small footprint
US7381159 *Jul 20, 2006Jun 3, 2008Wei-Teh HoStepper
U.S. Classification482/118, 482/909
International ClassificationA63B21/015
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/015, Y10S482/909
European ClassificationA63B21/015
Legal Events
Apr 30, 1984ASAssignment
Effective date: 19821028